How far “off” can a piano unison be and still be considered “in-tune”?



Asked by: Emily Smith

Even though a normal person can’t tell how many beats/sec the piano’s unisons are out, this person can still notice quite a little difference in the out of tune unison because of the color change that occurred in the sound. Something like 0.5beat/sec will be noticed because the “quality” of the sound is changed.

What is considered out of tune?





If three strings do not match the same frequency they are considered out of tune with each other. Whether those same three strings are at the correct pitch for the scale set on the instrument is to be determined by a tuning fork or tone generator.

Can a piano be beyond tuning?

Can my older or neglected piano be raised to concert pitch? While improvement is possible with many older pianos, unfortunately not all neglected pianos can be tuned.

How much out of tune is noticeable?

Research had shown that when we hear one pitch, and then another is played, but only 1 or 2 cents away, the difference is not noticeable. The Just Noticeable Difference begins at about 3 or 4 cents. That’s not a matter of “perfect pitch” or not; it’s a function of the limits of our ears’ sensitivity.

Are pianos slightly out of tune?

It is subtle, and is almost imperceptible to even a well-trained ear. It also makes perfect major 3rd note intervals sharper than our ear wants them to be, and makes minor 3rd note intervals flatter than our ears want to hear them. In the end, Pianos are always very imperceptibly out of tune.

How many cents is considered in tune?





For reference, there are 100 cents in every half step, like between A and A#. And the difference between 440Hz and 441Hz is 3.93 cents. 440 to 442 is 7.85 cents.

How many cents is out of tune piano?

Pianos that are tuned regularly might only go out 1-3 cents (out of a total 100). Often, pianos might go out of tune 5-15 cents in a year.

Can you tune a piano after 20 years?

Ca. If it hasn’t been tuned in over 20 years it will more than likely need a pitch raise (if the piano can be tuned properly.) Alot depends on the tightness of the tuning pins in the pinblock, and the condition of the strings.

Can a piano be tuned after 25 years?

If you’ve got an old, very out of tune piano it may take several tunings over a couple of years to bring it back into tune, but it should be do-able.

How long can a piano go untuned?

Tune Regularly for Best Results. An acoustic piano needs regular care if it is going to work well. If a piano has gone five or ten years without being tuned, then tuning it once won’t be enough. Pianos get set in their ways as they age.



How far off is equal temperament?

Twelve-tone equal temperament is the musical system that divides the octave into 12 parts, all of which are equally tempered (equally spaced) on a logarithmic scale, with a ratio equal to the 12th root of 2 ( 12√2 ≈ 1.05946).

How long should a piano acclimate before tuning?

When you’ve moved or when you’ve purchased a new piano, it’s recommended that you wait at least 3 weeks to allow the strings to settle before tuning your piano. A piano needs time to adjust to changes in tension from temperature and humidity fluctuations during the move and in its new environment.

Do pianos get better with age?

Are old pianos better than new ones? The answer is: it depends. Old pianos can continue to sound wonderful for many years with regular maintenance and care, but even pianos that have deteriorated can often be restored to their former glory, and in many cases made to sound even better than when they were new.



Is a 20 year old piano still good?

10-20 years: Depending on use and environment, sometimes pianos feel brand new while at other times, they might feel subtly broken in. At 30 years: the difference between the new, tight and succinct feel of a piano can change depending on use.

How much is a 30 year old piano worth?

SO – What’s my piano worth?

Piano Type Age Approximate Value Range
Steinway & Sons 40+ years $1,000- $15,000 “shell value”
Steinway & Sons 5-10 years Around 80% of new $60,000 to $90,000
Steinway & Sons 10-20 years 60-70 % of new $45,000 to $70,000
Steinway & Sons 20-30 years 50% of new $40,000 – $60,000

What is the average price to tune a piano?

from $65 to $225

It’s part of the cost of ownership. The average price to tune a piano ranges from $65 to $225, and the cost can increase by several hundred dollars if the piano requires multiple tuning sessions or repairs. Piano tuning is a skill that only experienced professionals should do.



How much should you tip a piano tuner?

Re: Is It Customary to Tip Tuner/Technician? If you are comfortable with the technician’s work, a $5 or $10 tip is appreciated. The Store tech works at a discounted rate in hopes of building or maintaining his business. Unless the extra work is substantial, he likely won’t charge the store extra for it.

Why is piano tuning so expensive?

Age of piano
Older or more neglected pianos may require more extensive repairs and refinements before tuning, which will make the overall cost higher than for a standard tuning. Also, the more out of tune a piano, the more the tuning might cost.